Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{Swap Sketch} - December 2012

As we all are getting ready for the first swap of 2013, take a minute and pat yourself on the back making the December swap our most spectacular swap yet!

Here's a quick rundown of what goodies showed up:

  • Knitted Scarves
  • Orange Grapfruit Marmalade
  • Coconut Almond Madeleines
  • Gingerbread Brownie Cake
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Cheesy Quinoa
  • Sugared Cranberries
  • Herbed Butter
  • Marbled Holiday Biscotti
  • Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge
  • Neapolitan Marshmallows
  • Coasters
  • Worm Castings
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Money Plant Seeds
  • Hot Buttered Yum Chex Mix
  • Romesco Sauce
  • Turkey Stock
  • Peppermint Oreo Truffles
  • Earl Grey Macarons with Biscoff
  • Pumpkin Pie Lara Bars
  • Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake Pops
  • Bacon Whiskey Bark
  • Andes Mint Cookies
  • Sweet and Spicy Pecans
  • Lavender Soap
  • Oat-rageous Cookies
  • Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pumpkin Raisin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Crumb Muffins
  • Pecandies
  • Herbed Vinegars
  • Pumpkin Curry Soup
  • Onion Compote 
  • Homemade Jersey Salsa

And a HUGE 'thank-you' to the Landis Marketplace for letting us set up shop in the middle of the market.  I know I'm looking forward to going back on February 2nd to do some shopping! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

{Recipe Rewind} December: Amy's Cheesy Quinoa and Abi's Macarons

I hope everyone had a great holiday season full of amazing foods - I know I did!  

Here is the recipe Amy used for her Cheesy Quinoa Bites.  She found it on Pinterest from Around the Table: Loving Food in RI & Beyond.

Cheesy Quinoa


1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
Veggies of your choice (optional)
good pinch of salt
a few grinds of seasoning salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions


Lightly sauté any veggies you would like in this dish.  

Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat 13x9 inch dish (or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned.

Amy used silicone muffin cups, which released really easily for individual portions. She found in using the traditional muffin pans, the quinoa stuck to the bottom.   Amy also increased the cheese to two cups, because it tastes better.  Thanks for sharing, Amy!

Now here's Abi's recipe for her Earl Grey Macarons. The recipe came from Building Buttercream, but instead of making the honey rosewater buttercream, she used Biscoff (a speculass cookie spread) between the layers.  She also added black food coloring to make the macarons look more "grey".

Earl Grey Macarons


Based on Brave Tart's detailed recipe.
115g almond flour* 4g Earl Grey tea (about 2 tea bags)230g powdered sugar144g egg whites (about 5 eggs worth)72g sugar1 tsp vanilla extract½ tsp salt*Blanched almonds will work as well, but you will need to grind them with the powdered sugar.  


Preheat the oven to 300° F.  You might want to invest in an oven thermometer to ensure your temperature is correct.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  If you'd like to ensure macarons of the same size, trace some guide circles on the parchment paper, and then flip it over (so that you don't get pen in your cookies!).

In a food processor, grind the almond flour with the Earl Grey tea leaves for about 30 seconds.  Sift the almond flour/tea and the powdered sugar together and set aside.

Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt and mix with beaters on medium for 3 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium-high and whip another 3 minutes, then go to high and whip for another 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat for one more minute on high.

Dump the dry ingredients into your meringue.  Mix with a spatula.  I stopped mixing my macarons at about 60 strokes with the spatula.  The batter should melt back down in 20 seconds after being spooned out and dropped back in.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a plain tip.  Holding the bag straight up, pipe batter out until you almost fill the circle you drew.

After all the macarons have been piped out, bang the cookie sheet onto your counter top a few times to get the air bubbles out.  Let the macarons sit for an hour (this may or may not be necessary, but probably doesn't hurt, especially if you're not sure about if you've over/under-mixed). 

Bake the macarons for 18 minutes (19 if you're doubling cookie sheets). Remove, and cool completely before peeling the macarons off of the parchment paper.

Thanks for sharing, Abi.  Now, I for one am very intimidated by the whole macaron process, so I'll just hope you'll be our resident macaron swapper :)

See everyone on February 2nd!